March 16th, 2020

F100 Retailers & COVID-19

What the top 6 U.S. retailers are doing

Marketing to key accounts during these uncertain times requires a tasteful and sensitive approach. To have appropriate conversations with customers about enabling remote office and digital, first understand how the top six U.S. retailers are reacting to COVID-19:

  • Nike has closed all U.S., Canada, Western Europe, & ANZ stores for two weeks.  China, Japan & South Korea are open.  Additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities include the option to work from home, staggered work schedules, and social distancing for their 76,700 employees.
  • Walmart’s Arkansas HQ employees will begin working remotely on 3/16.  In 4,600+ U.S. stores, they are encouraging use of their Walmart Pay app feature for mobile handsfree checkout, and have cut hours (6am-11pm) so employees can focus on sanitizing and restocking.  Walmart.com also offers in-store pickup or delivery, to avoid crowds.
  • Home Depot has seen great strain in both merchandising and supply chain.  This has impacted both online and in-store – due to demand for face masks, hand sanitizers and other cleaning supplies.  In-store customer events are paused, product installations are being rescheduled, and a COVID-19 task force has been put in place.
  • Target is keeping their 1,800+ stores open, however are reminding customers of alternative fulfillment services that don’t require customers to enter the store. This includes Drive Up, Target.com, and Shipt; where a shopper makes a same-day delivery to your doorstep.
  • Kroger, the largest US supermarket chain, has reduced store hours to focus on disinfecting areas commonly touched by customers; cashier stations, conveyor belts, self-checkouts & credit card terminals.  Kroger has limited the volume of cold, flu & sanitary products consumers can buy.
  • Apple has closed all stores outside China for the next two weeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  Stores in China are re-opening.  Apple has also blocked COVID-19 related games into its app store. Apple is moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide.